Fr. Peter Daly
May 27, 2003
††††††††††† This is the time of the year when bishops quiz nervous young people just before they confirm them. It is tough enough to stand up in front of a bishop and answer questions. It is† tougher still to do it with your friends, family, teachers and pastor watching.
Iím not sure if the Lord sent the Holy Spirit upon the church for that purpose, but the Spirit sure is useful at times like that. The key, of course is getting ready.
When I was in law school, they used to tell us that there were three rules for a trial attorney: 1.) Preparation, 2.) Preparation, and 3.) Preparation. The same rules apply to nervous teenagers getting ready to meet the bishop.
††††††††††† The director of religious education in our parish has developed a final test to help our teens through this nervous moment. It is a pretty good review of the faith. I recently took the test myself, to see how well I would do. Iíll tell one thing. I donít want to be a teenager again. There is a lot to remember.
††††††††††† Our test has a total of 90 questions. These questions cover the moral life, sacred scripture, the life of Jesus, the sacraments, Confirmation, basic knowledge about the Church, and some general questions about church teaching.
It would be interesting to see how many adults, including priests and bishops, could answer all the questions right. It is a challenge. Here is a little taste. To make things easier I put the answers we were looking for in parenthesis where possible. See how you do.
††††††††††† Moral Life:
†From the list below, put a C next to the Corporal Works of Mercy and an S next to the Spiritual Works of Mercy.
††††††††††† True or false: Whether something is right or wrong always depends on your point of view? (False).
††††††††††† True or false: Refusing to pay your taxes is a sin. (True).
††††††††††† What is a sin? (A thought, word, action or omission that offends God.)
††††††††††† Sacred Scripture:
††††††††††† What is the outline of the New Testament?† (Gospels (Life and teaching of Jesus), Acts (history), Epistles (letters) and Revelation (visions).
††††††††††† List the first five books of the bible. (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
††††††††††† Life of Jesus.
What do the initials inscribed at
the top of many crucifixes stand for? (INRI--- Jesus of
††††††††††† What are Jesusí two natures? (human and divine).
††††††††††† What are the sacraments of initiation? (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation).
††††††††††† Basic Knowledge:
††††††††††† List the ten commandments (See Exodus 20)
††††††††††† What are the two major parts of the mass? (Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist).
††††††††††† Who was the first Christian martyr? (Stephen, the deacon).
††††††††††† What vows do you renew at Confirmation?† (Baptismal vows).
††††††††††† Who was the first American born saint? (Elizabeth Ann Seton).
How did you do?
Our teens do amazingly well on these and dozens of other questions. Every now and then you hear people lament the quality of religious instruction these days. People often say, ďIn my day we had to memorize things and we really knew them.Ē
Well, the same is true today. Most
Standing in front of the bishop to answer questions is not easy. But I think teenagers today are as well prepared for those sweaty palm experiences as they ever were. Maybe better than I was back in 1962.